If your job entails interaction with an Israeli site or you otherwise interact with Israelis at work, here are a few guidelines that may be of assistance during this very difficult time.
1) Israelis are very hard at work during war time. For most of us, it is important to be better than average; it is axiomatic that life must go on as usual. Do not ask or inquire how that situation is impacting work. No one wants that type of sympathy.
2) It is more than fair to ask “how are you and your family doing”. This is basic common courtesy. Yes, not only YOU, but you and YOUR FAMILY. Whatever they tell you, listen and express understanding of the stress people are under.”That’s some challenge you are facing”. Furthermore, inquire if the person you are talking to has a family member in the service. On every call thereafter inquire, “how is X doing”?
3) Avoid all political comments. Anything can be misconstrued. “I hope that the hostages are returned soon” can be misconstrued as “stop fighting to get the hostages back”. Stay away from all comments of this ilk.
4) Comments like “Yes, the Jewish community just hired guards at most Jewish institutions”-are out of place. Again, in very hard times, everything can be misconstrued.
5) After initially approaching the issue of the wars impact on your colleague-stick to work related subjects. This is the best way to show respect. “Stick to knitting”.
6) End your calls with warmest regards. “Stay safe” is a great way to end a conversation.
And of course, if your own position is not supportive, there is no need to express your opinion. True, there is no need to be supportive if you aren’t. There is a need to use common sense and be diplomatic.